Time Saving Kitchen Tips

Dirty bowl in a sinkI love to cook for my family – but I don’t want to spend any more time than necessary in the kitchen. So here are some time saving kitchen tips that help.

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

I am always looking for fun activities to do with my kids.  Yesterday we went ice skating, and one of the things I realized while we were there is that I haven’t been doing as many fun activities with my children as I used to when they were younger.  It seems that I am always busy, but not always busy with the things that are most important!  Of course an outing is not always possible, but there are many fun things to do around the house.

Cooking with Kids

My son making pancakesI enjoy cooking with my children.  It is great to be able to teach them to cook and encourage them to eat healthy foods.  Studies show children are more likely to eat a meal if they help prepare it, so it is a fun way to help them learn about nutrition.

The other great thing is that teaching them to cook when they are young can pay off.  Before my oldest daughter went to college she cooked for me at least once a week, which was extremely helpful.  Now I am working on teaching my 12 year old son, Robert. He has a few meals that he can make completely by himself, such as making buttermilk pancakes from scratch, which he did tonight.  For more complicated meals we still cook together, but I am sure in a few years he will be independent.  Boy Scouts is also helpful for this, since the boys do all their own cooking when they go camping.

Tips for Safe Winter Driving

snowy road (640x318)

The worst thing about snow is having to drive in it.  This year we have been very lucky and have had only a small amount of snow, but that is not typical.  I live in the Syracuse NY area, which has the highest average snowfall of any city of over 50,000 people.  Last year we had 179 inches of snow, so I have had way too much experience driving in snow, and here are some tips I have for safe winter driving.

The Perfect Easy Gift–Gift Cards

If you are still shopping for Christmas presents time is running out!  If you are looking for a present gift cards are a wonderful idea, no matter who you are shopping for.  I like to give gift cards to many people on my list.  Let’s face it, some people are very picky about what they get, and for them a gift card is the solution.

Gift cards

My Favorite Fresh Scent from Nature

The variety of scents in nature are astonishing and never fail to amaze me. It seems that any time I venture outdoors there is something to smell, and usually something good. Some scents go beyond just providing enjoyment, they take me back to other times and other places. Of all the senses it seems that smell is the sense that is best at bringing back memories.

Organizing Toys and Decluttering

Anyone who has kids knows the toys seem to multiply overnight.  Fighting to keep toys organized, neat and tidy is a constant battle that all parents deal with.  There are some ways to help though, and here are my ideas.

Get Outside and Play

Playing outside with the family is always fun.  It is great to get fresh air, be active and just have fun as a family.  This Saturday, September 24th, families are encouraged to participate in Worldwide Day of Play and to turn off their TV and go outside to play.  There are so many ways you can enjoy the outdoors with your family, and here are some of my family’s favorites.

My Daughter’s Sense of Style #jcpback2school

Image (55)My daughter’s sense of style has evolved over the years.  When she was young she would wear almost anything.  Plaids, stripes, polka dots, matching colors, none of that was important.  She frequently wore dress up clothes, like a Cinderella princess outfit, around the house, and even to the store.  She especially loved to wear dresses, and always had something on her head.  For about three months she wouldn’t leave the house without her red feathered hair band.  As she got older and reached school age though, she started worrying about how other people would react to her clothes.

She quickly learned that some clothes were cool and trendy, and some were not.  She also learned that trendy clothes are expensive, and go out of style quickly.  Now she rarely wears dresses, and mostly sticks to the teenage uniform of t-shirts and jeans.  She picks her outfit out the night before school, and will frequently try on more than one combination, and ask for the rest of the family’s opinion.

A Virginia Beach Vacation

Summer is in full swing, and in honor of summer vacation season the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to get bloggers’ opinions on what makes Virginia Beach a great vacation spot.  I have never been to Virginia Beach, although I grew up within a few hours of it.  After spending some time looking at all that the area has to offer I have to wonder why I never made the trip.  Here are some great reasons to visit: